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Eyes to the Skies

Sunday Morning Falcon Watch - 8/5/18

August 5th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Another very warm day in Rochester, NY, with temps of 90 degrees (F) due.  No rain in the forecast, just clear, blue skies.

*Be sure to click on any pictures in this report to see the full image.*

I joined Dan on the Court St Bridge just before 7:00 am.  It’s always fun to join Dan on an early morning falcon watch.  Downtown was pretty much empty, no JW’s or festivals this weekend.  I grabbed my chair and coffee and settled down for my morning watch.  There were no falcons to be seen, but there was a lot of activity above and on the river below us.  Lots of gulls and ducks and herons.  Dan pointed out the Black-Crowned Night Heron (BCNH) hunting for fish on the river and another one that had flown into the tree near the library.  As we were watching them, a third BCNH flew into the tree just below the one that was already there.


On the south side of the bridge, we saw two Great Egrets come in for a landing.  A third continued south down the river.


Also, there were two Great Blue Herons hunting below.


Larry O (with Zeke) joined us at 7:2o am and Joyce (with Casey and Abby) joined us at 7:45 am.  Although we had no falcons to watch, it was fun catching up with everyone and watching the river life below us.



At 8:00 am, Dan headed home and Joyce, Larry O and I headed over to the Frontier Communication Tower.  Joyce spotted one falcon on the east side below the platform.  Since it was quiet and we saw no others, we headed over to the pedestrian bridge at High Falls.  There was an adult Red-tailed Hawk on the south side of the pedestrian bridge, surrounded by House Finches!



Joyce pointed out where she saw the falcon on FCT.  This was our view from the pedestrian bridge.


The Red-tailed Hawk took off and landed in a tree in front of the falls.


This was our view of the falls and downtown area.  Not much water was flowing over the falls due to the lack of rain.


Larry had to leave, so Joyce and I returned to the Frontier Communication Tower, where we found both Beauty and Dot.ca.  There was definitely a juvie falcon up there, but we never did see it.  Beauty was on the north side of the platform and Dot.ca was under the platform on the east side.  We could hear the juvie falcon wailing every now and then.  Especially when Beauty moved.  We figured she was somewhere up there on the platform with Beauty.


Carrie joined us and I really hoped that Sundara would make an appearance for her.  Carrie is the falcon watcher that named her.  I ended my watch when our shade shrunk down to nothing around 10:45 am.  The temperature was rising and the falcons would hopefully find shade of their own.  I hoped my sacrifice would bring Sundara out of hiding.  :)

Saturday Morning Falcon Watch - 8/4/18

August 4th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

The heat continues, on and on and on and on……

High 80’s today and mid-90’s the next two days.  Plus the high humidity, makes it pretty much unbearable.

*Please be sure to click on any pictures to see the full image.*

I arrived on the Court St Bridge (CSB) just before 6 am.  I had hoped to find Dan there.  After about 15 minutes, with no falcon watchers or falcons in sight, I headed over to the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT).  As I approached, I could see a falcon on the lowest arm.  It was Beauty and she was facing south.


About three minutes later, I heard that most wonderful sound of a juvie wailing.  It landed on the east side platform railing, just below Beauty.


While I was tweeting this out, both took off while I wasn’t looking.  This happens very frequently to the falcon watchers.  Again, I was searching.  From the CSB, I found Beauty on the Jail Communication Tower (JCT).  From where I was, I could not find the juvie.


Beauty took off, heading north, back towards the FCT.  That’s exactly where I found her.  She was in hunt mode, so I settled in to watch her, hoping the juvie would return.


At 7:30 am, Beauty took off, this time heading west.  I waited to see if she would return.

Eight minutes later, a falcon flew in from the east, carrying food and landing on top of the large white drum on FCT.  The juvie was following close behind, also landing on the drum.  It was Dot.ca who had brought in food for the juvie.


Dot.ca left the juvie and landed up on FCT.


Larry joined me, with Zeke.  He collected one of the feathers that fell from the prey the juvie was eating.  Can anyone guess what it might be?


We were chatting when I yelled out FOOD!  lol  Now you have to know that I saw a falcon flying in low carrying prey.  Larry knew exactly what I meant when I yelled FOOD!  hahaha!  It was Beauty and she landed very low on the Frontier Communication Tower.  She had brought in a pigeon, and she was panting when she landed.


The juvie finished eating and hopped off the drum into the framework.  Dot.ca watched from above.


Beauty continued to eat her meal, until there was just a little bit left.



The juvie continued to wail, loudly.  Guess Dot.ca’s offering wasn’t big enough.  When Beauty finished eating, she looked up at her young one, answering softly.  Beauty took off with her leftovers and the juvie followed.  The juvie flew up to meet her and Larry and I watched a perfect food transfer overhead.  After tucking the food in, the juvie returned to the FCT.


After eating, the juvie took off with the food and took it up to the top of the drum.  It looked like a good place to cache the food.  Both the juvie and Beauty had very full crops.


Dot.ca had other ideas for the leftovers.  It was his turn to eat breakfast.  He landed next to the juvie on the drum.  The juvie wasn’t happy, but decided to let dad have it.



While Beauty watched from above on the platform, the juvie landed below her in the framework.


Joyce, with Abbey & Casey, joined me at about 10 am.  Dot.ca finished his meal and flew over, landing just below the juvie.  This was our first good comparison.  Based on the size difference, we believe that the juvie we had been watching all morning was Sundara.  I never did get a good enough picture of her bands for a positive ID.


This was the time my camera battery died.  So no more pictures.  While Joyce and I watched over the next hour, Dot.ca gave a stooping lesson to Sundara.  He dove off of the tower and Sundara followed.  Beauty followed after them.  All three ended up very low on the communication tower.  That’s where they remained, until I left at a little before 11 am.  After I left, Joyce reported seeing both Beauty and Dot.ca leave.

Tomorrow will be a very warm day.  Stay cool everyone!

Playing Tag with Sundara! - Sunday Morning - 7/29/18

July 29th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.


*Please be sure to click on any pictures to see the full image.*

I’ve been searching for juvies this past week and seeing very little of them.  When I have, it’s been at a far distance and I haven’t been able to positively ID them.  Today, at 6:30 am, as I passed by the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT), I heard the very familiar and much missed wailing of a juvenile Peregrine Falcon.  It’s like a siren song to the falcon watchers.   I first spotted an adult on the middle arm.  It was Beauty.


Finally, I found the source of this beloved sound.  There was a juvie eating on the FCT below the platform.  I was even able to see the 90 black/green BA band on the left leg.  Yes!  It was Sundara!  I hadn’t seen her in such a long time.


I drove over to the south side of FCT to see if I could get a better look.


Beauty took off, heading east and Sundara followed.  Sundara soon returned, landing on the middle arm of FCT.


She moved over to the other side of the arm and I moved back over to the City Hall parking lot.



Sundara took off again, this time heading south and returned a few moments later.  This time landing on the east side of FCT below the platform.  I found a nice picnic table and settled in for a Sundara watch.  :)



I was really enjoying the cool temps and bright sunshine, sipping my coffee and watching the parking lot fill up with early morning churchgoers. It was a beautiful morning, spent watching a beautiful girl!


We stayed in each others company for quite awhile, before she took off, again heading south.  I looked over at Kodak and saw that Dot.ca was on the NW corner of the playground netting.  He took off on a hunt and ended up on the east side.


I was off again, in search of Sundara.  Love playing tag with the falcons!

As I drove down to Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”), I spotted a small head up on the platform of Rochester’s Mercury statue.


It was Sundara and she was wailing again.  A perfect clue that this was a juvie and not one of the adults.

Soon after I arrived, she took off again, heading northwest.  I caught up with her quickly.  She was up on the SE corner of the railing on top of the Powers building and she wasn’t alone.  She was there with an adult, who had passed over food that she was now mantling.


After parking my car in the hole, I took a walk over to the Powers Bldg where I had a very nice view of Sundara eating her 2nd breakfast of the day.



Sundara quickly finished eating and got down to a good preen.  It was time to make herself pretty.  lol


Soon she was on her way again.  She flew behind the Cross Rds Bldg and ended up on top of the OCSR roof on the south side corner.


About 10 minutes later, Sundara flew around the back of OCSR.  I did not see her come out either side, so I figured she landed over on the northside, in the shade.

I was right!  From the Andrews St Bridge (ASB), I saw that she was now on the top of the OCSR on the northside corner.  Here’s a view of what I could see from the ASB.


Before I ended my watch just before 9 am, Sundara had moved from the corner, walking towards the west corner.  She was gone from view when I left.


I ended my watch with a quick check of the Kodak Tower, hoping to find a falcon there.  No such luck.  But, I did find a bit of road that had been dug up, exposing the bricks that once paved an old road.  I really enjoy seeing stuff like this.  :)


On my way home, I stopped by Maplewood Park for a quick look at Seneca Towers.  From there, I could see one falcon sitting on the westside railing.  I was too far away to ID this falcon.  All was quiet and peaceful here.  A nice way to end my Sunday morning watch.


This was one of my favorite pictures of Sundara from this morning.  She’s looking skyward.  Sundara would soon master the sky and hopefully find a mate of her own and raise children.  We do love to hear about our young ones after they leave Rochester.  Fair winds Sundara, Letchworth and Mike.


Beauty at the Library - Saturday Morning - 7/28/18

July 28th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

It’s getting harder and harder to find the juvies.  We did see one yesterday on top of the Kodak Tower, with black/green band on the left leg.  So, it was either Mike or Sundara.  Too far away to positively ID.  Oh, and Dana and I saw an adult and two juvies at Seneca Towers yesterday.  One had food and one was flying around.  It was so good to see them.

This morning I met Dan on the bridge a little after 6 am.  Larry met us a little later with Zeke.  It was another very busy day here in Rochester, NY.  The Jehovah Witnesses were here for a second weekend and people were gathering for the Puerto Rican Festival parade.  There was also some sort of food function near the old Midtown Plaza.  Very busy!

I spotted a falcon on the Rochester Public Library as I joined Dan.  It was Beauty.  So nice to see her complete a meal and fill her crop, without a juvie stealing her food.  She deserved this quiet time.  :)

I wanted to share some pictures I took while watching Beauty at the library.  Enjoy!






Sunday Morning Falcon Watch - Another Very Warm Day! 7/15/18

July 15th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

*Please be sure to click on the pictures to see the full image!*

It was another very warm day here in Rochester, NY.  I got downtown just after 7:00 am and it was already close to 70 degrees. Temps were expected to go up into the high 80’s.  Again, no rain in sight.

Just before I arrived, Larry O and Dan reported seeing Beauty bring in food over the river.  A juvie flew up to her and there was a food transfer.  They saw the juvie go to the southside of the Times Square Bldg (TSB) and Beauty to the Powers Bldg.

I checked the southside of the TSB, but could see no falcons there.  From Aqueduct St (aka “the hole”) I spotted a falcon eating on the NE lower corner of the Widows Walk (WW).



I moved a little closer, to the parking lot on the northside of the TSB.  From there I could only get a quick look at a head and wings now and then.  At one point, a pigeon flew in and landed next to the juvie.  Falcon wings came up to greet it and the pigeon flew off very quickly.  Wish I had gotten that picture! :)


After finishing breakfast, the juvie walked down the ledge, heading south.  I finally got a nice view of a red taped silver USFW band.  It was Letchworth!



Letchworth took off heading north and I followed.  I do love playing tag with the falcons. :)

I found her in a lower section on the north side of the Frontier Communication Tower.



Further up inside the framework, below the platform, there was a sleeping adult falcon.  Pretty sure it was Dot.ca.


Letchworth took off again, this time heading north.  I followed, but could not find her.  After checking out the whole downtown area, I returned to the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT).  Dot.ca was still there, and I could hear a juvie Peregrine Falcon wailing.  It took me awhile, but I finally found the juvie on the shorter FCT.



This juvie had a silver band, so it was either Sundara or Mike.  After checking my pics, I’m pretty sure it was Mike.

Mike moved around, wailing loudly.  Dot.ca was still dozing above.  After awhile Mike spread his wings and took off, heading east.


It was time to search again.  When I was driving towards the Times Square Bldg, I saw a falcon fly very fast towards OCSR.  It landed on the southside top Ibeam, near the west corner.  From the hole, I could see that it was Dot.ca.


It was 10:00 am when I ended my morning watch.  It had been awhile since I saw Mike and I was happy to see him doing well.

Enjoy the day, and keep cool everyone!

Saturday Hot Afternoon Falcon Watch - 7/14/18

July 14th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

*Be sure to click on the pictures to see the full image!*

It was a very hot afternoon, but since I couldn’t get out for my usual early morning watch, I ventured out in the heat of the day to check on the falcons.

I immediately found Beauty on the bottom arm of the Frontier Communication Tower.  She was soaking wet, so she probably took a recent bath.  Possibly in the river.


Below Beauty, inside the framework under the platform was a sleepy juvie.


I noticed that the road behind the City Hall parking lot had a change.  The one-way was switched.


This was my view from the southside of the FCT’s.


From here, I had a better view of Beauty on the lowest arm.


Back at the City Hall parking lot, another view of the sleepy juvie.


I kept hearing the wailing of another young falcon, but couldn’t find it at first.  Then one popped up on the platform below Beauty.  There was a black/green band on the left leg, so it was either Sundara or Mike.  Based on size, it was Sundara and she had a very full crop.  She moved around, back and forth, on the platform, vocalizing up to mom.


When she moved out of my view, I moved back over to the southside of FCT.  From there, I could see her on the platform, with Beauty directly above her.


Again she moved where I could not see her.  So back to the City Hall parking lot.  It’s so much easier to move around on the weekends, when no one else is around.

From my position, I could see that there were now two, very close together underneath the platform.  Both were sound asleep and so was Beauty.  The heat was getting to me, so I ended my afternoon watch.


Again basing it on size, I believe it was Sundara and Letchworth on the Frontier Communication Tower with Beauty.

More hot weather coming our way, with little rain.  Hope everyone is keeping cool!

Friday the 13th Morning Falcon Watch - 7/13/18

July 13th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Yet another warm day on the way, with temps of 90 degrees.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had any rain.  Hope we get some soon.

My falcon watch started at about 7 am, just after Larry O signed off.  The first falcon I saw was from the west side of the Kodak Tower.  There was one on the NE corner of Xerox.  It was way too far away to tell who it was.

*Be sure to click on the pics to see the full image.*


I made my way to the north side of the old Midtown Plaza.  From there I could see that it was Dot.ca.


After a quick search, I found Beauty on the antenna on top of the RG&E bldg.


I noticed that Dot.ca had left while I was checking out Beauty, so I didn’t know which direction he had flown.

Beauty then took off, flying low over the buildings to the south.


I searched for her, but couldn’t find her.

It was time to look for the juvies.

Dot.ca was just flying up to the Frontier Communication Tower (FCT) when I arrived there.  He was on the middle arm, looking south.


From the Andrews St Bridge, I could see that there was a juvie lower on FCT, so I headed back over to City Hall.


Dot.ca was gone, but I was able to get a good view of the juvie.  Dana joined me on the watch.


Finally the juvie lifted her leg and I was able to read her black/green band.  It was 90/BA - Sundara!


While I was talking to a passerby, she took off.  Of course!  lol  Sundara headed west, out of sight.

I drove back to the Andrews St Bridge and saw a falcon heading my way from Kodak.  I caught this one picture of the falcon as it flew over.


This was very close to the gorge, so Dana and I decided to check out the pedestrian bridge.  We didn’t see any falcons there, but we did see a juvie Red-tail Hawk flying over the river and landing on the Genesee Brewery.


It was a big girl and she took off, flying over the pedestrian bridge and heading towards the falls.  The hawk ended up landing in the Falcon Sucking Tree.  I guess this tree is not only for falcons.  lol


The hawk took off and flew down the east side of the gorge, snatching at leaves, just like our juvie falcons do.  I really miss seeing them in the gorge.  Wish they’d find it.  :)


The High Falls Gorge is my most favorite place to watch falcons.  The river is very dry right now due to the lack of rain, but the falls are as beautiful as always.


If you live in or near Rochester, you should visit this magical place.  Enjoy the day and keep cool!  :)

Falcon Watch Pictures - 7/6 - 7/11/18

July 11th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Time to catch up and share some pictures from my falcon watches over the past 6 days.  I’m happy to report that all three juvies are doing well.  I even have some videos that I will share with you soon.  But, in the meantime, here are some pictures I want to share with everyone.  Enjoy!  :)

*Be sure to click on each pic to see the full image.*























The Day After the Fireworks….All 5 OK! 7/5/18

July 5th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

My main reason for going downtown early this morning was to make sure the Rochester Falcons made it through the evening of downtown fireworks.

I and a few other falcon fans were watching the fireworks on our falcon cams last night.  They were very loud and quite intense.  At one point, we could hear a falcon (we assume it was Beauty) vocalizing loudly.  I really wanted to make sure they were all ok this morning.

At 6:00 am, I joined Dan on the Court St Bridge.  I was overjoyed to see all three juvies flying high above the Xerox Tower, talon tagging.  Beauty was supervising from the SE corner of the Five Star Bank bldg.  We later saw Dot.ca on the RG&E antenna.  All five were safe and sound.  They had all survived the very explosive celebration the night before.  :)

We were soon joined by Larry O and Dana.

Here are some pictures from the morning watch.  Another very warm day!!!

*Please click on the pictures to see the full image.*







I’m happy to report that repairs are underway on the Cross Rds Bldg.


Dana and I ended our watch at the Seneca Tower location.  Sadly, all was quiet and we saw no falcons there.  Although, Dana and Lou had seen three juvies on the building a couple evenings ago.  We were probably too late to see any activity this morning.

Enjoy the day and keep cool everyone!

4th of July Falcon Watch - 7/4/18

July 4th, 2018

By Rochester Falcon Watcher Carol P.

Happy 4th of July!

When I arrived downtown on the Court St Bridge at 7:00 am, I was greeted by Dan and Larry O.  Another very warm day was beginning.  Temps are expected to get up to about 93 degrees, and the humidity was rising.  The police were already out, blocking off some of the streets that would be filled with people this evening for the 4th of July celebrations.

Dot.ca was on the Powers camera and one juvie was on the ladder on top of the Civic Ctr.  We assumed, based on size, that this was Sundara.  We’re now pretty sure that she has lost the blue tape from her silver USFW band.  This will make it harder to ID her.

*Please click on the pictures to see the full image.*


Soon after I arrived, Beauty flew in carrying breakfast.  Sundara took off from the Civic Ctr and met her.  We lost sight of both of them, but quickly found one on the Widows Walk (WW).

Dan and Larry said their goodbyes and I headed over to the Times Square Bldg area for a closer look.

Dot.ca had moved over to the OCSR, top IBeam.

4-dc-on-ocsr-7-4-18<— DC on OCSR

From the hole, “aka Aqueduct St”, I could see a juvie on Widows Walk on the southside railing.

5-juvie-on-ww-7-4-18<— Juvie on WW

I drove over to Fitzhugh St on the west side of WW and found a juvie eating on the corner of the Civic Ctr.

6-juvie-on-civic-ctr-7-4-18<— Juvie on corner of CC

A falcon flew up to the WW.  By the time I drove over for a closer look, the juvie I had first seen there was gone and Beauty was now on the southside railing.

7-beauty-on-ww-7-4-18<— Beauty on WW

I met up with Dana and we kept an eye on the juvie eating on the Civic Ctr.  We could see the silver band on the right leg and black/green band on the left leg.  So this was either Mike or Sundara.


Beauty flew over to check to see if there were any leftovers.

11-beauty-on-cc-7-4-18<— Beauty  on Civic Ctr.

We spotted a falcon on a lower Civic Ctr Bldg.  Again, either Mike or Sundara.

12-mike-or-sundara-on-cc-7-4-1813-mike-or-sundara-on-cc-7-4-18<— Mike or Sundara on Civic Ctr

We had some flying by the juvies, and they all ended up over on the Jail Communication Tower.  Joyce joined Dana and I at the parking lot near the Blue Cross Arena, aka Rochester War Memorial.  We found a spot in the shade and settled down to watch the four falcons on the jail communication tower (JCT).  There was some flying and we were able to positively ID Letchworth with her red tape covered band.





At 10 am, it was getting hot and we decided to end our watch.

Five Rochester Falcons were seen by Five Falcon Watchers this morning.

A very happy 4th of July to all.  Enjoy the day and stay safe!


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